engine conversion, ideas and advice.

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engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby MattDon » Sat 06.10.2012, 11:18

Hi All ive been knocking around the idea of an engine swap for a while and after alot of looking around i came up with the fiat coupe 20v turbo engine, im guessing a 16v engine would be smaller and easier to do but it doesnt sound like this also it comes with a 6 speed gearbox and a well regarded LSD.

but this is as far as my knowledge takes me, how do i measure if it will pysically fit in the engine bay, obviously engine mounts will need to be fabricated and id be prepared to change the body work if needed, also would one use the fiat driveshafts or would it be possible to use the lotus items, and the same goes for hubs brakes, gear cables etc. my thinking is to buy a full coupe car and take as much as i need off, including wiring loom gagues etc.

if this does workout it will be a very long term project and be along the lines of a kit car, been tempted to talk to simon at spc about his spaceframe chassis idea.

any feedback would be welcome. excluding the whole whats wrong with the isuzu engine, because the answer is nothing its a great engine but i want a more interesting sound and mine needs replacing as does the gearbox, and many other parts.
Last edited by MattDon on Sat 13.10.2012, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby trig » Sat 06.10.2012, 13:57

What's wrong with the Isuzu :lol: ,, I personally don't love the Isuzu lump but do appreciate its punch for its size and that's the problem of trying to fit another engine in a very tight space , when I removed my engine because of gasket failure I looked at the possibility of fitting an alternative as I have in my garage at the moment a Saab 2.3 16v turbo lump and a SR20det from a Nissan 200sx both of these engine are very smooth reliable and easily tunable but side by side they were much bigger than the Elan engine and as anyone who has removed and refitted the Izuzu lump there is very little room

I would still like to try an engine swop in the future but not with my garage queen , a cheap wreck would be ideal so chopping bits of it wouldn't be so painful

Sorry I am of no practical help but I do support what you are doing and hope your successful :) I think the Fiat coupe is a good choice for the reasons you stated and they are cheap at the moment until they become collectable ,, they were the fastest FWD car on the road when launched

My old Saab was brought by a guy who wonted to fit it into a BMW touring after many years and a lot of work he gave up and sold the project
Here's the project thread http://www.driftworks.com/forum/drift-c ... power.html just to give you an idea what to expect with fabbing mounts ect.. Makes me sad when I see my old black Saab broken just for its engine :(

There are a lot of Saab engine conversions out there its a more tried and tested route than the Fiat and its cheaper with lots of tuning options
Astra with Saab power http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic. ... 4&start=40
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby MattDon » Sat 06.10.2012, 17:01

i did look at a few alternatives, including the mazda and jaguar V6's, but the jaguar is too big and the mazda doesnt have enough power, considered japanese 2l turbo's but they just dont have a decent sound. the lovely sound and 6 speed gearbox combined with an relatively easy 300hp tuning route im very drawn to the 20vt engine. Oh and the alfa V6 sounds amazing, but again its a big v6. how much bigger can one cylinder and 400cc be!? lol.

Just incase you havnt click the link and listen to the sound :-D
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby norman lovie » Sat 06.10.2012, 19:40

a worthy project for a worthy reason - I would also consider the VR32 engine - for the same reason http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxjsKaAI ... ure=fvwrel
lovely!!!

The Elan does lend itself to this type of project - basically since you have X 4 bolt up parts that build the engine bay structure - and hence able to adapt the bits to suit

one key dimension you need to focus on is
1) the offset from crank to the drive shaft axis - both in the vertical and horizontal plane- you want this as close to the Izuzu as possible.

the bonnet can be modified to handle height issues, the sump and the std elan lower subframe can be modified to suit

the longerons can be modified to fit round the box etc.. - I think this engine has the box on the drivers side ?

mind and document it in detail :wink:
good luck
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby abmunro » Sat 06.10.2012, 20:31

I'm interested in more CC's so my turbo spools up quicker I have 270 BHP which is enough but would just like the power to kick in further down the revs.

I asked Marie about rebore but she said she thinks stroking engine would be a better option.

Could be an option?
91 Elan SE 24k miles, 270 BHP @ 1.25 barg. Roll hoops + fairings+ speed humps Elise lights. S2 alloys. Nitrons& Eibachs,AP's front & Hi Spec rear brakes
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby nyssa7 » Mon 08.10.2012, 19:48

It won't physically fit! I run the 20vt engine in my Lancia kappa coupe road car, and a "slightly" developed one in my matching Lancia kappa race car. It's much too big

It is also rather heavy, shame as the a fiat Coupe forum are now treating 300bhp as mild, 400 as nothing unusual and membership of the 500+ club is growing. And there is a stroker kit to take out to 2.4 litres

16vt engine is a little narrower, it's still very heavy though. The Coupe 6 speed box can be made to fit, but again, it's very bulky too. And the LSD is actually a ViscoDrive unit which doesn't really work as well as say a Quaife ATB
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby MattDon » Mon 08.10.2012, 21:06

oh :( could it be made to fit? or is this idea DOA? some measurements would help if your not sure.
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby nyssa7 » Tue 09.10.2012, 14:34

anything can be MADE to fit, hence the PPC mag 27 litre Rover SD1

but quite what the Elan would look like - needing extra width up front - or handle like given the extra weight, would make you wonder why unless you just wanted the fastest Elan in a straight line. The 20vt is a very tight fit in the Fiat Coupe
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby MattDon » Thu 11.10.2012, 22:06

id be interested to find out dimensions, it doesnt look that big in the engine bay, and with our batteries being in the boot it should save some space?!

im not the most technicaly minded person in the world and thats why im always asking question, If its that much heavier than our engine it would be a shame to ruin the handling, the only other engine i could think of (although it doesnt sound as nice as the 20vt) is the honda accord type R engine, as its all aluminium and redlines at 7200rpm with 209hp. But If the 20vt engine can be shoe horned in, without buggering things up too much and without having to redesign the whole front end id much prefer to go down that route.
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby trig » Fri 12.10.2012, 16:40

A problem with the Fiat engine is the alternator sticks out front so you would need to chop out some of the rear of the headlamp surround , the pop up lamps take up a lot of engine bay room , the 20vt engine is a good idea if your happy to rearrange the front end, chopping bits off... as for the Honda lump again great engine but no real gains in power output , ,, you would however gain a bullet proof engine with the Honda but the gear shifter is placed in the dash and not in the centre console , there may be a way round this but its more effort

What are you hoping to gain from this conversion ?

As I said previously if I were to do this it would be to find more power and better shifting and I would go down the 2.0 Saab engine route ,, mainly because I know a bit more about the engine and Like the way it performs , reliable , easy to self tune plenty of maps out there and there cheap as chips

A project like this would mean your Elan would be off the road for a long time but if completed would be fantastic :-D
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby MattDon » Sat 13.10.2012, 11:24

trig your right, the main reason for doing this was mainly to do with sound and i should stay focused on that, while the honda engine sounds nice when its screaming, it isnt a patch on the 20vt, i did look at the saab setup but wasnt keen on the sound, im trying to stay away from the inline 4 engine, as i find them a bit boring. power isnt that important, but i would like around 200hp. i got to the honda lump by reputation, having been in one and from the fact that its all aluminium, that and the 1.6 8500rpm civic engine was never imported offiacially. what id realy like is a v8 or v6, but as far as im aware theyre just too big, thats how i ended up at 5 cylinders. hell id go to 3 cylinders but id be a long way short of the desired 200hp. i guess if i had the money id get an evora S +2, but as theyre still above 40k i thought id build my own version. Also im rediculously attatched to my grey elan, it was my first car and unfortunately it needs a total rebuild, but now i have a son i dont realy get the excuse to use it so i was looking for a very long term project, im hoping to create something unique over several years.
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby MattDon » Sat 13.10.2012, 16:36

been looking again and volvo made an all aluminium 5 cylinder engine, its called the B5234t3 and is featured in the 850 and s60 T5 volvos. i know the CC is alot bigger, but would this make a more suitable donor?
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby dapinky » Sat 13.10.2012, 17:45

Not sure about if it would fit, or how it would affect the handling/looks - but I'm fairly sure it would make the car undrivable.......

....this is based entirely on the fact that the T5 Volvo 850 was a total bugger in FWD form, and only became 'usable' in 4WD guise.

Without the turbo it was a dream, with it it was a nightmare - the power was very sudden and the car would spin its wheels in 3rd when it came in.

I'm certain that it would be so much more pronounced in an Elan as to make it impossible to enjoy.

On paper it sounds like it has the numbers you want, but in real life the 204bhp comes in too sudden at the wrong time (just my 2p from someone who had a selection of them as company cars back in the 90's)
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby MattDon » Sat 13.10.2012, 20:07

thats a valid point, i remember reading some where 220hp was about as much as one should put through fwd. maybe a N/A version would be better suited, would sound better... the 2.4 B5244S engine comes with 168hp, the fiat 145hp sounds bloody good though.... listen unless i went to the 2.4l version from the stilo abarth with 168hp.... hmmmm.
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby pjw12 » Sun 14.10.2012, 16:22

MattDon wrote:id be interested to find out dimensions, it doesnt look that big in the engine bay, and with our batteries being in the boot it should save some space?!

im not the most technicaly minded person in the world and thats why im always asking question, If its that much heavier than our engine it would be a shame to ruin the handling, the only other engine i could think of (although it doesnt sound as nice as the 20vt) is the honda accord type R engine, as its all aluminium and redlines at 7200rpm with 209hp. But If the 20vt engine can be shoe horned in, without buggering things up too much and without having to redesign the whole front end id much prefer to go down that route.


The Accord/Prelude 2.2 Motor is quite old, its not been in production for 10 years, lovely engine and can be tuned up nicely (used to do some work with a company that worked on BTCC and Euro touring car racers), but she is a bigger unit than the Civic type R 2.0l, of which there are is plenty full supply, can be tuned up alot, supercharged or turbo'ed to well over 300 ponies. Both gear shifts are cable controlled so its irrelevant where the shift levers mounted.

But for my 2p, for the hassle and expense of trying to shoehorn a motor in, fabricating all new engine mounitin points, sorted ECU, wiring, gearshift,probably having to fabricate drive shafts, issues communicating with the dash systems ..... Im not sure I would bother, Id take 1/4 of the money that project would probably swallow, tune the standard motor up, bore it out, forged pistions, nice turbo, custom ECU, LSD and have change to get some track driving lessons to get the most out of what I had
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Re: Fiat coupe engine conversion

Postby pjw12 » Sun 14.10.2012, 16:22

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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby surfboardfiller » Sun 14.10.2012, 18:13

Can you not just tune the engine and get a better exhaust?
I think you are in for a world of pain and a massive expense if you can't do the difficult work yourself.
The Elan Engine can sound as good as any in line 4 turbo, so you are looking at more cylinders.
Size is a problem and just 'modifying ' the bonnet is not going to magically solve the problem, you have a lot of engineering solutions to find and fabricate, so this is going to cost you a lot of money on un proven solutions.
Whilst I'd love to fit a Lotus V8 in an Elan I know it will be cheaper to go and buy an Esprit V8 and drive that instead.

Lotus balanced the Elan with the Isuzu-Lotus Engine perfectly in both drive and performance, that quality of engineering cost millions and I don't see much else out there that can match it, let alone better it in performance and handling.
It would be a lot cheaper to tune your Elan and find another car that fits the bill and drive that too.

I only write this because I have been through what you are going through now and have drawn my conclusion as to what is best for me.
My track car has cost the price of a good Esprit V8 to modify it and I have not had the engine out or had any custom engineering done. It gets very expensive to play.

It sounds like you have out grown the Elan.

But don't let that put you off. :wink:
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby MattDon » Sun 14.10.2012, 18:52

:cry: your both right, i was hoping if i used the donor instruments, loom, engine, gearbox etc then it would be quite straight forward, but im now of the opinion that im trying to bite off more than i can chew, i dont have the fabrication skills, mechanical knowledge and certainly not the wallet to pull this off. i guess i should just rebuild this as a project of love with the parts i have already (including the lgm turbo kit) and save up for my evora +2 S, im actually realy tempted by a smart roadster light as a bit of fun until i can afford my evora.

i wish i could give up my elans, but the SE means too much to me, but im pretty sure i'll get the S2 mint and sell it :(
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby bratboy_y2k » Wed 17.10.2012, 06:58

Just go for the 1.8 conversion, simple, straightforward, a fair chunk of extra discplacment.
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Re: engine conversion, ideas and advice.

Postby bratboy_y2k » Wed 17.10.2012, 06:59

Just go for the 1.8 conversion, simple, straightforward, a fair chunk of extra discplacment.
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